The poor dog didn’t know why we were jumping up and down in a mad celebration so he alternated between hiding and trying to join us.
Swept my daughter into my arms and hugged her for an extra moment than normal, told her how proud I am of her and tried to figure out how my baby is old enough for college.
Won’t ever forget the smile on her face when she discovered she had gotten her first admission to a university.
It is hard to hear stories about friends and family getting into universities when you haven’t heard anything yet. Told her not to worry and that it would happen, but I understood her impatience because I remember those days.
And I am partially to blame because when one of her first cousins got into Indiana, Michigan State and Seton Hall I told her each time I heard something.
So yeah, her old man was dense about it three times but now things are better because she got in somewhere. Not her first choice, but I think in her top five.
Don’t tell her I said this, but in the long term it won’t matter if she gets in anywhere else. This is a small piece of the life puzzle.
I want her to get into other schools and have choices because I think she’ll feel better but it won’t determine how successful she is.
That comes from the inside.
Had to remind myself to listen to my own advice because it is good, honest and real.
Done a poor job of it as of late as I have been a little bitter about a few things. Been a little frustrated and angry that I didn’t make certain moves and choices in the past.
I can hear people telling me that those led to an inability to take action until the kids head off to school and that irks me.
Irks me because I understand it but I don’t agree with all of it though I see the point. And it irks me because I could have had a bigger influence upon it all and I didn’t.
That is my fault and my responsibility and it is part of why I am doing things differently.
In spite of the bitterness I am proud of some major accomplishments, some personal, some professional.
I made like Atlas, put the world on my shoulders and made some things happen that are worth celebrating.
Part of the current responsibility set is figuring out how to pay for college now. Damn, it is a buck and a half more than when I was a student.
But I think it will work out because time and effort have been put into this. Planning, detail and attention to opportunities are part of this and the nice thing is much of this is concrete. There are hard numbers to be worked with and data that isn’t solely contingent upon people.
People can be unpredictable, irrational and unreasonable. You don’t always know what you will get and I include myself there. Sometimes we do silly crap.
Tuition is pretty simple. You get a number and that is what it is. Sure there are scholarships, grants and loans that can impact it, but ultimately there is always a number that you can shoot for.
When I go back to LA I’ll make a point to share it with Dad even though I don’t expect to hear an answer.
Who knows, maybe he’ll visit me in my dreams and I’ll share the news there. Maybe we’ll talk again about the changes that are rapidly coming.
I haven’t officially lived with my middle sister since she left for college in the Fall of ’89. There have been many portions of time that we have slept under the same roof, days, weeks and even a few months.
But we haven’t really lived together in 32 years and if things go as everyone hopes my daughter’s time at home is almost through. She’ll always have a place and I am sure we’ll see her but damn this part is surreal.
Tomorrow we’ll take her car in for some basic service and I’ll tell her to pay close attention to what is going on and help her figure out how to do it if I am not around.
And maybe I’ll take her to lunch and enjoy the time with her. There was a moment right after she saw her acceptance in which I saw a look of pure joy on her face that really took me back.
She was all of three or four and had put my shirt on and demanded I pick her up and dance.
It is funny because I have seen that look of joy many times over the years, it hasn’t ever disappeared but this time, well…
And So It Begins
Her older brother blew my mind the other day in the best way possible because he shared something that reiterated he has figured things out.
Not everything, but enough to make me very confident about his path. It is different than the one I took and many I know but it is not a bad path. It is just different and it might end up being more direct to where he needs and wants to go than the other.
I’ll tell Dad about that too.
I have always known my kids will do things that amaze me and that their journeys will make for some awesome stories. Always known this time of life would come and that it might be different than I expected and it has been.
What is different now is recognizing that my baby girl, the one who isn’t a baby anymore is on the verge of starting a new chapter.
Elementary and middle school are long gone. We passed ballet long ago and even soccer is in the past and that was with us for more than a decade.
More and more friends are becoming in-laws and or grandparents and several have retired. I plan on doing all of that but it won’t be any time soon.
It all sounds so old and yet I don’t feel nearly old enough to be in this place. I guess it is time for changes and new chapters all around.
And so it begins.